New setup for my folks - opinions please!

Oli

Active Member
My parent's are moving to a new house and my dad has managed to pursuade my mum to get a decent home cinema setup in the living room. This was no small achievment in itself, considering last time it was suggested she replied with:
"what do you need that for? I can hear the TV perfectly well!"

We went to have a look around some stores and demo some kit at the weekend and i've specc'd him up the following:
B & W MT-1 x 5
Yamaha RX-V2700 (on offer for 650 - seemed good value)

It'll be partnered with a Panasonic 42" PZ80 (think thats the model) which they already own and my vvvvvv old Rel Stygian sub (if anyone's curious, i believe it's the second sub Rel produced). Sadly i can't use the sub at the moment because i live in a flat so i thought it could do with a home. The sub is large but i believe it's "only" got a 100w amp driving 2 x 10" drivers i'm hoping this should be enough to fill the room.

As of yet i'm unsure about a blu-ray player - i figured if they got one which decoded HD audio and sent it via HDMI it would be good, i understand the panasonic ones can do this.

The main concern for me is the setup. The room is reasonably big (approx 6 x 6m) but the tv has to go in the corner of the room. There will be a large L shaped sofa in the middle of the room. I'm not sure yet where to place the surround speakers and whether to make up for the TV placement by adding another speaker to increase the soundfield. Might help if i attach a diagram of the room.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
To futureproof your setup I would look at getting an AV receiver with on board decoding, which the 2700 lacks. I seriously doubt your Mum would entertain the idea of upgrading the amp in a few years time, so you might as well make this one last. :) I'm sure the 2700 is a cracking amp, I can't remember the RRP offhand so don't know if £650 is a bargain or not. I know it has network audio. I would imagine that the 2700 can handle LPCM audio via HDMI and analogue but be careful in your choice of bluray player. The Panasonic BD30 for example has to send the HD audio formats out as bitstream (raw) to a compatible amp. In other words, it can't decode the HD audio onboard and send it out as LPCM ruling out the 2700. Check the bluray players forum to confirm. The PS3 is the only bluray player I would touch at the moment, so if it's a stand-alone unit you want and you think the PS3 would be too complex for your folks (trust me, it isn't but the setup would definitely confuse the heck out of my Dad so I know it might not be ideal) I would simply wait until the whole profile issue has been sorted out. Hopefully by the end of the year or early next year we should have stand-alone players with profile 2.0 that can do all the audio stuff too. Otherwise you could buy a cheap player such as the Samsung 1400 and upgrade later (if you felt the need).

Sorry, I can't help with the speakers as I've never heard them but it's always best to demo anyway using your folks ears as they will be the ones that will be listening to it.

There are guides on websites such as audioholics.com, dolby.com and I'm pretty sure WhatHiFi still have some setup information each month. It might be worth a look.

AV receivers such as the Pioneer LX50, Yamaha 763 and 863, Denon 2808 all have HD audio decoding on board. The Onkyo range inc. the new 606 are all similarly equipped but look hideous! There are also new models due out from Pioneer inc. the budget 1018 model but I'm not sure when it's out.

Demo, Demo, Demo!!
 

Oli

Active Member
To futureproof your setup I would look at getting an AV receiver with on board decoding, which the 2700 lacks. I seriously doubt your Mum would entertain the idea of upgrading the amp in a few years time, so you might as well make this one last. :) I'm sure the 2700 is a cracking amp, I can't remember the RRP offhand so don't know if £650 is a bargain or not. I know it has network audio. I would imagine that the 2700 can handle LPCM audio via HDMI and analogue but be careful in your choice of bluray player. The Panasonic BD30 for example has to send the HD audio formats out as bitstream (raw) to a compatible amp. In other words, it can't decode the HD audio onboard and send it out as LPCM ruling out the 2700. Check the bluray players forum to confirm. The PS3 is the only bluray player I would touch at the moment, so if it's a stand-alone unit you want and you think the PS3 would be too complex for your folks (trust me, it isn't but the setup would definitely confuse the heck out of my Dad so I know it might not be ideal) I would simply wait until the whole profile issue has been sorted out. Hopefully by the end of the year or early next year we should have stand-alone players with profile 2.0 that can do all the audio stuff too. Otherwise you could buy a cheap player such as the Samsung 1400 and upgrade later (if you felt the need).

Sorry, I can't help with the speakers as I've never heard them but it's always best to demo anyway using your folks ears as they will be the ones that will be listening to it.

There are guides on websites such as audioholics.com, dolby.com and I'm pretty sure WhatHiFi still have some setup information each month. It might be worth a look.

AV receivers such as the Pioneer LX50, Yamaha 763 and 863, Denon 2808 all have HD audio decoding on board. The Onkyo range inc. the new 606 are all similarly equipped but look hideous! There are also new models due out from Pioneer inc. the budget 1018 model but I'm not sure when it's out.

Demo, Demo, Demo!!
I forgot to mention, we did demo the 2700 and the B & W's and I was rather impressed by the sound from such small enclosures! I didn't get round to demoing an onkyo properly though, but i'm put off by the "bells and whistles" approach they seem to take.

Blu Ray isn't essential right now so they could wait on a player, i expect Sky HD will get the most use, so i'm probably going to tell them to wait for now.

The RRP on the 2700 was £1300 so i think it's a fair price, you can probably find it cheaper online but i always think it's fairer to buy from the store where you demo'd it! Since there isn't exactly a wealth of HD sound around I'm thinking it's probably worth waiting for the panasonic BD-50 - this does seem to decode + bitstream output according to the Panasonic website but probably won't be here until summer.
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
Totally agree, if you demo from a dealer it's only right that you buy from them, although haggle like mad to hammer out the deal.;)

The new BD50 does decode HD audio and send out as LPCM so should be compatible with the 2700. I would definitely wait though. Sony will also be launching new machines at some point, I think the model numbers are denoted *50.

Enjoy!
 

Oli

Active Member
OK - attached an image of the room because i'm still unsure about rear speaker placement!

I think Surr L and Surr R are going to have to be in positions 2 and 4. Would it instead be beneficial to add a further rear speaker and have it setup with speakers in 1, 2/3, 4/5?

Btw apologies for the diagram - it's pretty awful but should show the rough room layout (note doors/windows/fireplaces marked with blocks, the sofa is the big bit in the middle and the TV should be obvious!)
 

Attachments

davepuma

Distinguished Member
My mate used to (pre projector) have his rears in similar positions to 1 and 5. Where are your fronts and centre? Basically the fronts need to be in front equidistant to the centre of the display ideally with the tweeters close to ear height. The centre should be below the display (or above but when I first set mine up many moons ago, it sounded a lot better below). The rears should be slightly above ear level and again pointing at the listening position. As he room is fairly large, I would consider adding 7.1 i.e. surround left and right to improve the soundstage or going for some bipolar rear speakers but I haven't really heard a 7.1 system (my room isn't big enough) to clarify. Perhaps try posting in the speakers forum.

Check sites like dolby.com and audioholics for further details.
 

Oli

Active Member
My mate used to (pre projector) have his rears in similar positions to 1 and 5. Where are your fronts and centre? Basically the fronts need to be in front equidistant to the centre of the display ideally with the tweeters close to ear height. The centre should be below the display (or above but when I first set mine up many moons ago, it sounded a lot better below). The rears should be slightly above ear level and again pointing at the listening position. As he room is fairly large, I would consider adding 7.1 i.e. surround left and right to improve the soundstage or going for some bipolar rear speakers but I haven't really heard a 7.1 system (my room isn't big enough) to clarify. Perhaps try posting in the speakers forum.

Check sites like dolby.com and audioholics for further details.
Cheers - i forgot to point out the fronts but that's all sorted!

I'll see what he thinks to the idea of extra speakers but i'm not sure what my mum would say, but i expect 5.1 will do for now!
 

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